The Nativity with Donors

Gerard David (Netherlandish, c. 1455-1523) – The Nativity with Donors and Saints Jerome and Leonard, c. 1510–15 (Oil on canvas, transferred from wood, Metropolitan Museum of Art) – Art critics have called Gerard David’s paintings conservative, even bland, and who am I to argue? But he paints the most wonderful angels – glorious creatures, truly celestial. If this is ‘conservative’, give me more…Bruges, as the headquarters of Netherlands art, was losing its importance to Antwerp when this painting was done. David was the dean of the painters’ guild, and also the last great master from this town. His paintings, beautiful as they are, have a certain melancholy, a gentle sadness…




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